SEVERAL gardaí have become members of the 'Volvo Gang' Facebook page, signaling apparent support for the so-called smash-and-grab crime gang that caused havoc in the midlands in a series of violent raids.

Six members of An Garda Síochána have become members of the 'Volvo Gang' webpage on the social networking site Facebook.

The webpage has just 16 members.

A source said: "It's just very bad taste for gardaí to become fans of this page, considering the damage this gang has done all over the country, particularly the midlands.

"Every garda in the country knows who the Volvo gang is. There is no way these officers weren't aware of what they were doing."

Members of the Volvo gang are a loose affiliation of criminals from west and north Dublin. They were at their most active point during the 1990s and at the turn of this century.

"Their method was to steal high powered Volvos and store them in lock-ups or on isolated streets for use in raids around the country, predominantly in the midlands.